Art Studio Construction by Nerina Lascelles

An artist’s studio is a sacred space that houses the sacred process of creation.

When I completed my artist’s residency at Dunmoochin the question I has asked so many times before had circled back into my world once again. 

“Where am I going to create now?”

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"Legacy" - An Exhibition of 'Dunmoochin' inspired work by Nerina Lascelles

The Dunmoochin Foundation is located in 200 acres of protected bushland in Cottles Bridge, north-east of Melbourne. Within the bushland setting, the Foundation offers rented studios and residences for artists, writers and researchers. Established by the eminent Australian artist, Clifton Pugh AO, three times winner of the Archibald prize, the Dunmoochin Foundation is now managed by a voluntary Board of Directors.

Since its establishment in 1989, many Australian and overseas artists have had the opportunity to develop their artistic skills and experience a connection with nature. The Dunmoochin Foundation offers a place of retreat for successful applicants to experience six to twelve months in this natural setting. Over 29 years, the Dunmoochin Foundation has offered residencies to visual artists, musicians, composers, sculptors, poets, writers, dancers, puppeteers, craftspeople, video producers, film makers, researchers and environmentalists.

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Legacy - Exhibition

Visitors to the exhibition (photo credit - Kristin Walker)

'Legacy', a group show featuring work from 11 artists who have spent time as artists-in-residence at Dunmoochin.  Lyn Ashby, Mirranda Burton, Jole Di Florio, Heja Jung, Lisa Nolan, Simon Pierse, Sue Robertson, Jodi Stewart, Matt Stonehouse, Mark Wotherspoon and yours truly, Nerina Lascelles, showcase work on the rustic mudbrick walls of the Eltham Library Community Gallery until July 2nd, 2018.

Dunmoochin is an incredible place steeped in rich cultural history. It seems that every artist who has had the fortune to undertake a residency has been influenced by the beauty of the surrounding bushland. 

I have three paintings on display in 'Legacy' and while I don't have any paintings that I created while actually in residence, as they've all sold :), I have had a delightful time in the studio revisiting the influences that inspired me so greatly 

It was back in 2010 that I went to live as an artist in residence at Dunmoochin for around two years.  It was during this chapter that the motif of the 'Redbox' leaf originated; and it continues to appear in my paintings. This iconic circular-shaped leaf reflects this area of dry bushland on the outskirts of Melbourne. 

Below are some the process details and finals of the paintings showing ......

“Today's studio quest has been to relay the incredible stillness and silence of a foggy morning here in the gorgeous Red Box forest in Panton Hill. Not quite there but enjoying the process :)” – Instagram April 8



Red Box Mist | 122cm x 122cm | 2018

The two other paintings in the exhibition - and their working details are pictured below.....


n celebration of this beautiful full moon that continues to light up the cold, clear nights here in the bush, this painting is now completed and on display in “Legacy” - an exhibition featuring the work of 11 artists who have spent time in residency at Dunmoochin." May 31. 2018 - Instagram

Red Box Forest Moon | 132cm x 132cm | 2018

Red Box Bush | 76cm x 152cm | 2018

Today, on this cold, wet and wintery Melbourne day I am also enjoying revisiting some of the paintings that I did created while at Dunmoochin.  

This painting (below) features the 'Long Leafed Box', which is another indigenous eucalypt growing in the dry bush forest in Cottles Bridge. This painting was inspired by the beautiful Japanese folding screens (or byobu) that were used as room dividers and as a means of reflecting light into Japanese houses prior to the access to electricity in Japan.


Just as an aside, this painting won the 'People's Choice Award' at the Nillumbik Art Prize back in 2011 :)

Long Leaf Box Collage, 152cm x 122cm, 2011

Here's is another painting created at Dunmoochin that features the circular 'Red Box' leaves. I recall being always so fascinated with the wide variety of colours in the leaves. Mostly of course they're a lovely pale misty green but as they age, they turn pink and even a rusty-red colour. Some individual leaves contain all of the colours on the one leaf. 

When it rains the shiny leaves reflect the grey skies above and the hue of the red box foliage seems to soften into an even paler green..... the raindrops becoming sparkling, silvery jewels.

Red Box Collage | 122cm x 122cm | Mixed Media on Canvas | 2011

To continue with a feature of some of the paintings that were created at Dunmoochin, another 'throwback' from my Dunmoochin residency that again features the Red Box leaves is this work. (below) The title of this painting is a Haiku poem written by the Japanese master, Seibi. 

"Lying down on my back

the Spring sunshine

filled my mouth" - Seibi

While revisiting the influences during my 'Dunmoochin' chapter, I found this photo of me at work in my studio. Clifton Pugh built this 'hanger-like' building when he began to create larger paintings.

While I utterly


to look at myself and my work from seeming


ago, this was such a magical and important chapter for me, both artistically and personally.

And to continue with a few more paintings from my two year Dunmoochin residency featuring Red Box gum leaves, the title of this work is a haiku poem by the Japanese master Kobayashi Issa (1763 - 1827)

"Under shady trees

Resting with a butterfly - 

this too, is karma" - Issa

While still strolling down memory lane - reflecting on some of the work that I created at Dunmoochin during my residency, I also found this one. This is one of my largest paintings measuring 152cm x 152cm, painted in 2012.

As with my previous post, the title is a haiku poem from the Japanese master, Yosa Buson (1716 - 1784)

"From far and near, 

Hearing the sounds of Waterfalls,

Young Leaves", Buson

...And for the last post from the rainy day reverie, another painting featuring the Redbox created at Dunmoochin back in 2012. Living at Dunmoochin enables one to connect with the landscape in all seasons, in a weather conditions and all times of the day. Nights with a full moon shining down through the redbox forest were extra special. This painting was the hero image of a solo exhibition I had at Montsalvat titled, 'Seizui - Essence'.

The title for this painting is one of my very favourite Haiku poems by Matsuo Basho.


"Clouds veil the moon, 

now and again, 

giving rest to it's beholders" - BASHO

I really hope you've enjoyed browsing through this small collection of paintings from my 'Dunmoochin' chapter - just as much as I have in revisiting them. 

'Legacy' an exhibition features  work from such a talented bunch of fellow artists who have also experienced a deep connection with Dunmoochin.

Here's hoping you are able make it down to the exhibition to have a look. Updates about the gos are posted regularly on our Facebook Page.

Also, if you're interested in commencing an artist residency at Dunmoochin, please apply via the website at

Our Eltham - Artistic Recollections by Nerina Lascelles

From fire to flood, from gold mining to wheat harvesting, from the horse and buggy to the motor car and from Shillinglaw Cottage to the Eltham Library, ‘Our Eltham’ is a celebration of life in our Shire since the opening of the Eltham Cemetery more than 150 years ago.

Depicting scenes of life in and around Eltham, this collection offers us a deeper connection to our area through a series of visual narratives of our past, our environment and our community. Historic photographs ignite an impression of what our forefathers may have witnessed during their lifetimes as pioneers before, us while indigenous flowers and plants symbolically connect us to life and nature in our local area.

The Eltham Cemetery Trust commissioned this project as part of its ongoing vision to offer our community a fresh and unique relationship to the Cemetery and confirms the Cemetery Trust’s commitment to the continued support of local artists.

Our Eltham is a collection of panels that were collaboratively created by artist Nerina Lascelles and ceramicist Linda Detoma. The associated landscape was designed and constructed by Leigh Wykes with ironwork by Neil Carter. All contributors to this installation are residents of the Eltham area. 

The official unveiling of the project commencing at Montsalvat. September 21, 2017

An art object is like a time capsule...

....a portal to another time and place, it reveals insights into human behaviour, beliefs, dreams, habits and ideas. Art has been created by humans for humans across hundreds and hundreds of years because it can inform us, stimulate us, uplift us, inspire us and offer us an enriched view of life. That is what we hope to achieve with this work.

I have lived Eltham and the surrounding area for nearly 50 years. What drew me to this project is the wonderful opportunity to offer a fresh perspective of the rich history and beautiful landscape right here on our doorstep.

And, as with a time capsule Linda and I hope that we have brought the Eltham Cemetery Trust's vision to life and helped to make the story of historic Eltham, relevant to the present and to the future generations who will enjoy this work. 

Visitors to the cemetery reflecting on the collection of 31 panels at the opening.

The Eltham cemetery is a time capsule as well. It was established in 1858.  It is fascinating to ponder on what life would have been like and how life in the Nillumbik area has changed over more than 150 years. A reflection on historic imagery and story enables us to understand what our fathers and their fathers may have witnessed during their lifetimes. Historic imagery also allows us to contemplate the myriad of colourful tales that our dearly departed forefathers, now at rest within the Eltham Cemetery, would have perhaps told. Historical imagery offers us today, a connection with our past.

Great Hall Montsalvat with Donkeys, 1963. Photographer John T Collins

Leigh Wykes, renowned throughout the Nillumbik Shire for his talent as a designer, builder and stonemason, and who is here today, designed and constructed the 50 metre, curved stone wall in the cemetery upon which this series of panels was then to be displayed.

Leigh Wykes visited my art studio some 18 months ago.

Leigh had also met with we'll know local ceramicist, Linda Detoma and suggested that Linda and I meet and discuss the idea of potentially working in collaboration on the project.

My artistic practice combines influences of the ancient artwork of the orient and the reverence that Japanese artists, poets and monks displayed towards the natural world around them.  Over recent years I have featured Australian elements in my paintings, endeavouring to reflect a similar sensitivity towards the natural world here in Nillumbik. 


Native flora and foliage features in my work

Perhaps it was the use of indigenous native flora and foliage within the layers in my work that struck a chord of connection with Leigh, like the inclusion of the typically Eltham round Red Box Gum leaves or the soft, misty green of the silver wattle that grows on the banks of the Diamond Creek.  Perhaps it was the bright yellow pom poms of Golden Wattle that cheerfully heralds the beginning of Spring at the end of a long Winter. Perhaps what Leigh recognised in that moment was a celebration of the bush treasures that surround us in Eltham; the beautiful native plants of varying shape, texture and colour that remind us of our own sense of home and place in this unique part of the world.

Historic map of Eltham

The process of creating this series of panels has been an unfolding journey,  each panel has seemed to take on a life of its own. Historic research, a series of interviews, sourcing local photos and on-site photography took me out of the studio on what felt like a treasure hunt. As each tale unfolded, I was able to sense a deeper and deeper personal connection to life here in this Shire. A connection that I hope has been relayed through this body of work, and a connection that I hope my 2.5 year old son will also experience as he grows up in this area.  

The newly installed body of 31 panels at the Eltham Cemetery

So to describe what this commissioned project actually looks like, “Our Eltham – Artistic Recollections” comprises a series of 31 ceramic panels, each measuring 70cm x 60cm, which have been installed into a rusted steel balustrade that runs above a 50 meter stone wall in the cemetery. 

The panels depict designs which incorporate a multi-layering of imagery including local landmarks of significance and of a collection of native plants that are indigenous to the Eltham area. 

A selection of tiles fresh out of the kiln after their third firing

Technically speaking, each panel is made up of 15 handcrafted ceramic tiles that piece together like the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, to picture the overall design. The panel designs have been created digitally with some of the designs containing more than 90 layers of imagery.  The digital designs are then transposed into a decal (or transfer image) which is produced using glaze materials, that when fired, the image adheres permanently to the tiles. Metallic or Iridescent luster is later applied before a final firing. Each of the 465 tiles in the project have been fired up to 5 times before being mounted, grouted and installed in the cemetery.

Eltham, Shillinglaw Cottage, 1963. Photographer J T Collins


Kangaroo ground War Memorial Tower, 1930's

View at Hurstbridge, photographer Rose Stereograph Co.

As mentioned, the subject matter within this series of panels largely comprises a range of photographs of scenes and sites in around Eltham.  

Some of the historic structures may be recognisable to you as many are still standing today: for example (Shillinglaw Cottage by the library, the War Memorial at Kangaroo Ground or the Monash bridge in Hurstbridge) 

These scenes may remind you of stories that your mothers, fathers, grandmothers or grandfathers may have told, or possibly some of your own memories and stories are ignited when you visually connect with a familiar place. I loved sharing completed panels with my family: here and abroad, and listening for their memories of the Red Rattler or the Eltham Barrel etc…..

Eltham Trestle Bridge, 1981. Photographer G.L.Coop

The Barrel Restaurant Main Rd, Eltham. Photographer Peter Willie 

The use of indigenous flowers in the panel designs symbolically reconnects us with our local area. Native wildflowers and foliage also represent the beauty of the natural world around us. The little jewels that seem to miraculously arrive from the invisible and for often a relatively short period of time gift humanity with their physical beauty. To witness the life of a flower – from a small shoot, to then bud, flower and over time the wilting and falling of that flower, allows us to reflect upon our own life span and the life cycles of every physical form on the planet.

The sweet smelling Chocolate lily or Dichopogon strictus

Local species reconnect us to our area without any reference to a particular decade or period. A chocolate lily remains a chocolate lily regardless of the invention of electricity, the motor car and bitumen roads which have physically changed the landscape of the area over recent centuries. A gum tree remains a gum tree over the passage of time yet due to its long lifespan can be perceived as a silent witness to the changing environment around us.

This project has been like a dipping back into a time capsule for me: a glimpse back into the past of "Our Eltham" and bringing it to the present day. Today we offer it as a gift for future generations to enjoy.

Perhaps reflecting on the collection of panels in “Our Eltham” may reawaken in you a sense of connection to this area, offering you your own individual experience of home and place in this unique part of the world.

On behalf of Linda and myself, we’d love to extend heartfelt thank you to:

  • The members of the Eltham Cemetery Trust and secretaries Rita and Julia for the wonderful opportunity to undertake this commission and for all of your support every step of the way.

  • Thank you to Leigh Wykes for your vision, support and unwavering belief.

  • Thank you to also to the Eltham District Historical Society, Eltham Library and Andrew Ross Museum who, amoung others kindly granted permission for the use of our selection of historic photographs.

  • Thank you to John and Eillish at Decal Specialists for your assistance and expertise.

  • To Amanda Gibson for your wonderful talent with the design and layout towards the book

….. and everyone else who has contributed to this project over the last 18 months.  The incredible support from so many members of you, the community only strengthens the project title, Our Eltham.


Divine Nature by Nerina Lascelles

Divine Nature


What a delightful surprise to come home to a gorgeous magazine in the letterbox..... Even more of a surprise to find a seven page feature article of my work and art studio within its glossy pages!

I took these photos as I opened the magazine for the first time and posted them here so as to give you the experience of a similar 'quick flick' through the magazine. 

A month or so ago, I had such a lovely time in an interview for this story - but of course, like any interview, the article and choice of photo's are well out of the artist's hands. It is a great honour to have been so clearly heard and represented.

This Autumn issue of 'Yarra Valley & Ranges' is available through and will be available digitally when the next issue is released.

I'd love to extend and enormous thank you to Kristen Lee for her invitation to be a part of this publication and her beautiful way with words and to Celeste Faltyn for her accompanying photos.

Please click on the gallery bellow to view the article x

Recent News by Nerina Lascelles

Over the past year I’ve been working on a very exciting new project that has taken me out of my own studio and into a collaboration with the very talented ceramic artist, Linda Detoma. Together we are in the process of completing a body of 30 individual ceramic panels as part of a new development at the Eltham Cemetery.  Construction on the “Grevillea Memorial” has already begun with the creation of a 50 meter stone embankment crafted by local stonemason Leigh Wykes and the erection of a rusted steel balustrade along the length of the stone wall. The ceramic panels that Linda and I are in the process of completing will be positioned along this balustrade above individual burial sites. Linda has carefully handcrafted a set of 15 clay tiles which will then make up each 70cm x 60cm panel.  She is assisting me in translating my designs onto the tiles through a combination of glazes, lusters and 


Hand made tiles

Imagery on these panels depict a multi-layering of local historic photographs and native floral images, which are indigenous to this area, arranged in a design that embodies cultural significance and interest. It is our intention that the panels emit a calming and peaceful influence allowing the viewer to quietly contemplate the imagery on the panels as well as reflect on his or her own layers of story and memories.  The works also engage the audience in a celebration of this unique and fascinating shire of Nillumbik.  

It’s an absolute honour to have been invited to design these panels as Eltham and its surrounds has been my home for as long as I can recall.  It is fascinating to ponder on what life would have been like over the last 150+ years since the Eltham Cemetery opened.  From fire to flood, from gold mining to wheat harvesting, from the horse and cart to the motor car, and from the Shillinglaw Cottage to Montsalvat, these photographs offers us today a connection with our past. Local historical imagery allow us to contemplate the myriad of both meaningful and colourful tales that our dearly departed forefathers would have perhaps told. I am also incorporating images of local current day subjects into some of the panels and therefore giving this generation a connection to their own stories too. Those living in or familiar with Eltham will have their own memories of Montsalvat, trips out to the Kangaroo Ground Memorial Tower and rides on the infamous ‘Miniature Railway’. I’m also thoroughly enjoying interviewing a number of elders and individuals in the Shire with a fascinating story to tell.  

Local historic photographs for possible use within the panels. Images thanks to the Eltham Historical Society and the Eltham Library

The use of indigenous flowers in the designs for the Grevillea Memorial symbolically reconnects us with our local area. Native wildflowers and foliage also represent the beauty of the natural world around us. The little jewels that seem to miraculously arrive from the invisible and for often a relatively short period of time gift humanity with their physical beauty. To witness the life of a flower – from a small shoot, to then bud, flower and over time the wilting and falling of that flower, allows us to reflect upon our own life span and the life cycles of every physical form on the planet.  Local species reconnects us to our area without any reference to a particular decade or period. A chocolate lily remains a chocolate lily regardless of the invention of electricity, the motor car and bitumen roads which have physically changed the landscape of the area over recent centuries. A gum tree remains a gum tree over the passage of time yet due to its long lifespan can be perceived as a silent witness to the changing environment around us.

A selection of photographs of local flora that I have taken for reference for the project.

The project is expected to be finished in mid 2017, so I’ll keep you updated as to the grand opening!!!

From the Studio...

Motherhood and Creativity

When I had my little one a year and a half ago, I somewhat naively imagined that I would be able to simply strap him to my front and keep on painting. This huge shift from how life was, to a completely new reality is of course nothing new for all mums out there, but no matter how many times I was told, I still thought, 'how hard can it be??' While I was able to take Miró to the studio and paint while he slept, I was only getting 20 minutes of painting done at a time. Not so handy when a huge '20 painting' exhibition is looming on the calendar! Thankfully my beautiful mum and dad were able to help and as my studio is on the same land as their home, I was able to then get two hour painting sessions completed between feeds. For this I will be ever grateful. 

Early days with baby Miró in the Studio

While Miró is my most precious of creation to date, painting to me is like food for the soul and a necessary life activity for survival. The blessing of a small person finely tunes the awareness of the important balance between creativity and other daily activities. 

Now that Miró is walking and beginning to explore he loves to join me in the studio to create his own artwork or explore the surrounding bush land. I'm glad that this little one is being exposed to the necessary element of creativity in all of our lives.

Nillumbik Artists Open Studios November 2016 by Nerina Lascelles

Nillumbik Artists Open Studios Artists Exhibit

"Join us at the Eltham Library Community Gallery as the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios Artists exhibit a taster collection of artworks. Exhibition runs from Thursday October 27th  to Monday 21st November. Check library website for opening hours here

… "It seems to come around so quickly.  The November season of Open Studios has just been kicked off with the opening of the group exhibition..


19th & 20th | 26 & 27th November 2016

"One of the beauties of this collective program is the diversity of practices and personalities that are all tied together by a common thread, the love of the landscape. Painters, illustrators, ceramicists and print-makers alike culminate to make a rich tapestry of multi-disciplinary artworks that can be discovered at your own pace, studio by studio."

This brand new year of Open Studio's introduces nine new artists to the program as well as the launch of a new


for Nillumbik Artists Open Studios that  encourages visitors to explore and map their very own artistic trail. "We are taking you on a journey to pockets of the beautiful Nillumbik Shire that have yet been traversed by this program such as Plenty and Nutfield, so pick up a coffee and engage in an adventure!"

This season, my studio is listed as 

Studio Number 10


220 Long Gully Road (cnr Bakehouse Road, Panton Hill.  Love to see you there!!!

From an article in the Herald Sun, here is a photo of me in my studio.  An excerpt of the article as follows...

"ARTIST Nerina Lascelles doesn't have to look far from her purpose built mud brick studio for inspiration.

While her art has a distinctly Japanese feel, she enjoys painting uniquely Australian flora, the kind that surrounds her Panton Hill studio.  Lascelles studied drawing and painting at art school, but when she went looking for something more she was drawn to the Asian ethos of less.

"I started looking at different cultures and travelled through several Asian countries," she said.

"I went to Tibet and made mandalas with the Buddhist monks, which was an incredible experience, but when I got to Japan I thought 'I have found it'. There is a simplicity that comes with the Japanese style."

For the past 10 years Lascelles has been influenced by the sacred arts of a number of Asian countries. She has labelled her Japanese inspired work Japonism - "the influence of the arts of Japan on artists in the west"." .......

(read more)

Art Demonstration by Nerina Lascelles

I recently had the delightful experience of hosting a demonstration evening at a local 'Arts Society'.

Painting in one's own studio is generally  a solitary experience and it sees that over many years artist's tend to develop their preferred mode of expression.  For me, the combination of collage, printing, painting and application of 'encaustic wax' has now become a part of my 'art-making regime' so to speak.

I was introduced to encaustic wax over 25 years ago at art school. During the same period I was also using all sorts of different collage mediums to incorporate into my paintings. I recall screwing up paper tightly then applying paint to the creased paper.... and finally ironing each sheet. This gave me some interesting textures. Back in the art school days I completed a post graduate thesis on the 'Spiritual in Art'  with a particular focus on 'Synesthesia'. (the overlapping of the senses)

In this body of work I endeavored paint music from different tribes and cultures of the globe. Interestingly, with these early works I combined paper collage, paint, drawing and encaustic wax in a similar way that I do today.  Not only was I using paper collage, but I made papier mache frames for each painting as another representation of our link to the natural world and the planet.

(photos courtesy of DVArts Society)

During the presentation I initially explained about my influences and inspiration though the decades that I've been making art.  Since completing University, my work has been inspired by native cultures of the earth that may be able to offer us in the West a glimpse of how to live with more 'connection' to each other and the planet.  Early influences took me to parts of Africa, South America and Asia. I was also researching the art and culture of The Native American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, Tibetan monks and other Shamanic cultures across the globe.  As the years passed, my focus began to hone in on Asia and more recently the ancient arts, culture and philosophy of Japan.

More recently again, and my paintings appear to combine both the Japanese influence as well as including subject from the natural world more locally to where I live.

I showed the audience an array of materials that I would typically use within a painting - from gold and silver leaf to metallic foils and wallpapers and from Japanese Kimono and Obi to Washi Paper.

(photos courtesy of DVArts Society)

A more recently acquired technique is that of applying screen prints to my work. During the demonstration I printed a number of areas of a canvas I was working on to show the viewers this mode of getting an almost instant application of pattern and motif. 

I also demonstrated the application of gold leaf to a canvas.

(photos courtesy of DVArts Society)

"It was a successful and entertaining evening at the DVAS Rooms.

About 25 people watched Nerina with a bubbly personality demonstrate her artistic skills.

Nerina who uses encaustic wax and gold leafing in her work certainly has some very good

techniques and everybody would have gained something useful from the evening. Her

artwork is very different from the run of the mill and extremely decorative.

Thanks Nerina for coming and also thanks to all the people who came along and showed

support for our DVAS Demonstration Evenings: It was a really good turn-out...."

(excerpt from the newsletter)

This really was a fabulous experience to share my work - thank you all at DVAS for the invitation :)

Open Studios by Nerina Lascelles

Today I'm participating in another 'Artist's Open Studios' event in my local area. My studio in Panton Hill is one of 26 open throughout the Nillumbik Shire. As is written in the booklet that accompanies the program, 'Nillumbik invites you to discover over 30 artists in their studios, providing an intimate and privileged insight into their arts practice. Explore the inspirationalBackdrop of some of Victoria's most beautiful bushland and interesting architecture, constructed from mudbrick, stone and recycled materials'.

Please come along for a little 'sneak peek' inside my studio this weekend too :)

While I have paintings adorning the round walls (a bit like a gallery) visitors can also see the array of materials I utIlise to create these works. On these shelves (pictured below) there are many fabrics that I have collected from travels across Asia. There are also a range of greeting cards. My publication, Seizui, is available too.Up in the loft one can also glimpse clothing racks of Japanese Obi and Kimono and boxes full of material off-cuts.

On the shelves below this painting (pictured below) there are boxes of the papers that I use within the collage element of each painting. Amoung these are beautiful Japanese Washi papers, Chinese Joss, Indonesian foils, vintage wallpapers and vintage asian newspapers.

Below is a photo of a shelving unit full of paints, tapes, pencils, leaf, waxes and on the top shelf, a collection of vintage wooden stamps from. India, Nepal and Indonesia. These have been used to print patterns onto fabric in different parts of Asia.   Gosh - the stories these stamps could tell!

Because of the collage and screen printing processes within my paintings, I'll spend a deal of time with each canvas lying flat on a trestle table. Here is a little display of the process of screen printing an area of 'kikko hanabashi' (the traditional Japanese tortoise shell pattern) onto an area of gold leaf. Sheets of acitate act as a mask during the printing process. The paintings will later be transferred to a vertical easel for additional painting.

Below is a snapshot from a table of reading material, articles and catalogues from past exhibitions. There are four publications from recent shows.

A lot of visitors to my studio are also fascinated by the studio itself. This 'ferro cement' studio was built on my family property. My father, Wayne Lascelles, designed a stunning home some years before my studio was built. Below are a few of the magazines that this home has been featured in.

While my parents were building, I used their carport (a circular Mudbrick building to house 4+ cars) as my studio. It was then that I fell in love with the circular space to create within. One night out at dinner Dad and I drew on serviettes the basic design for a this studio ..... And with the help of local ferro cement expert, Mark Phillips, the rest is history :)

And finally, for today's little 'virtual' studio tour, another photo inside the studio space. This is the view through the tunnel from the smaller, two story 'storage' space into the larger area that I actually paint in. The stone for these steps actually came out of the excavated site beneath the studio.


for more about the program.

'Step by Step' by Nerina Lascelles

On open days almost every visitor to my studio asks what my process of painting is. While the 'step by step' of each painting varies, I suppose, just like other artists, I've developed my own technical process over the years...... which I'm more than happy to share….

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KARISOME - TRANSIENCE by Nerina Lascelles

Here’s hoping you're managing to keep warm on these wintery, wet days here in ole Melbourne town.

As mentioned in my last post, ‘Karisome – Transience’ is running at

Yering Station

until May 17th so there's still heaps of time to pop out for a look,and possibly a taste of the beautiful wine on offer, if you're in the vicinity.  I have just finished a short video interview about the background to the exhibition title and paintings so you can get a sense of what is on show. (click on the video below to view)

Karisome Video Interview on YouTube

May I extend an enormous thank you to everyone who made out to

Yering Station

for the exhibition opening and a huge thank you also to both Jeanette Davison and Ewan Jarvis for their heartfelt, eloquent and insightful speeches.

Here is an excerpt from Ewan Jarvis's wonderful speech...... with some images of paintings in the show nestled between his words. An enormous thank you again Ewan xxxx

Beneath the Blossom 84cm x 152cm, 2015

"Good evening and welcome to the Yering Station Gallery. My name is Ewen Jarvis. I run the cellar door here at Yering Station and will be standing in for our curator Savaad Felich while he is on leave. So on his behalf and on behalf of the Yering Station Gallery, I’m delighted to be welcoming you to the opening of Nerina Lascelles’ exhibition ‘Karisome’ or ‘Transience’: a collection of works that take as their subject the transient nature of all things and the beauty inherent in transience itself.

The Japanese word Karisome denotes the inevitable dissolution of all form through the passage of time.  Karisome can be translated into English as transient or temporary. Translation is however something of a haphazard affair, and these English words don’t quite convey the nuanced meaning of the Japanese word.

Maigure-shon - Migration 84cm x 152cm, 2015

Nerina has observed on one of her blogs that an awareness of karisome involves joy, an intense appreciation of things, and also a gentle sadness at their passing.

Now yesterday, with all of this in mind, I decided to ask a few Japanese visitors to the gallery for their personal definition of Karisome. My favourite response was from a lady called Michiko from Kobe, who was on holiday with her mother and grandmother. Michiko said that Karisome is ‘like a love affair that is all the more moving and beautiful for being short’.

The chrysanthemum flowers, cherry blossoms, honey bees and migrating cranes of this exhibition ask us to reflect on love affairs that are all the more beautiful for being short, and in doing so they induce a Zen-like calm.

Karisome III 2 84cm x 152cm, 2015

Nerina’s works, I think you will agree, have an immediately calming effect. They encourage tranquillity and induce in us a sensitivity to the subtle movements of human life and the workings of nature: and experience that deepens with patient observation. Giving these works our attention involves becoming lost in their many layers of texture, colour and symbol.

Shihyou – Pattern, 122cm x 122cm, 2015

In Nerina’s works the layering of Japanese Kimono embroidery, Chinese silk, Washi paper, Joss and encaustic wax invites the viewer to step through the textured surface into imagined worlds, while the disparate vintages of the carefully chosen material invite us to become lost in the passing of time. Viewing these works, we are often jointly aware of the eternal and the transient. For example, in Japanese mythology the crane lives for 1,000 years, but for a human observer the spectacle of its migration is all the more beautiful for being fleeting.

Another element of Nerina’s exhibition that endears me to her work are the titles taken from the Japanese poetry. I always enjoy an exhibition a little more if the titles of the works are working as hard as the works themselves. Nerina certainly doesn’t disappoint. Take for instance the title of the following piece:

The sun covered

By clouds for a while

Migrating birds

Basho 1644-1694

For me, haiku like this has the effect of someone walking into a room and playing a few exquisite notes on a flute and then leaving.

These words, written in seventeenth century feudal Japan by Matsuo Basho (and for those of you unfamiliar with Matsuo Basho, he is the Japanese equivalent of Shakespeare) these words introduce us to a work in which migrating-silk-kimono cranes are seen traversing an airy skyscape of precipitous paper mountains, gold gilt clouds, crooked trees clinging to crevasses, while delicately penned Japanese words fall like rain into low valleys.

The overall effect is of entering a tranquil, complex and dreamlike space....."

Photos thanks to Kerry Cross

"Karisome - Transience" Runs April 2 - 17 May 2015

Opening Drinks Friday April 10th 6pm - 7.45

Admission Free

Contact details:

Exhibition Coordinator - Savaad Felich

T 03 9730 0102

38 Melba Hwy Yarra Glen 3775 

Victoria, Australia 

Karisome - Transience by Nerina Lascelles

The title of my next exhibition is ‘Karisome’ (Ka-ri-so-me) which is Japanese for ‘Transience’. It embodies the ancient Zen Buddhist concept that all form – be that material, thought or emotion - will inevitably dissolve through the passage of time. The contemplation of the transient nature of all things is nothing new, philosophers have ruminated with this concept since the dawn of time. The ancient Japanese monks, seers, artists and poets not only acknowledged and embraced this idea but also perceived the transient and ever-changing element of life to hold incredible beauty. A beauty which does not last and cannot be grasped, bought or owned.

Live in simple faith

Just as this trusting cherry

Flowers, fades and falls – Basho 

The words of this beautiful Basho poem eloquently capture the wisdom and grace of being aware of and applying the concept of transience. Western culture appears to identify so heavily with the permanence of material form, thought and emotion, and could perhaps live in a more balanced way through acceptance of the popular Buddhist concept that “This too shall pass.” Rather than becoming lost in the world of things, emotions and events we should flow with grace and trust life and its experiences.

Mono No Aware (pronounced - “moh-noh noh ah-wah-ray”) is a Japanese term which arose from the Buddhist culture of the Heian Period (794-1185). This term describes the awareness of the transience of things, and both a joy and intense appreciation as well as a gentle sadness at their passing. Poet and artist Motoori Norinaga (1730 -1801), describes the term as “sensitive, exquisite feelings experienced when encountering the subtle workings of human life or the changing seasons.” In Norinaga’s interpretation, the phrase speaks of a refined sensitivity toward the sorrowful and transient nature of beauty. According to mono no aware, a falling or wilting autumn flower is more beautiful than one in full bloom; a fading sound more beautiful than one clearly heard. The Sakura or cherry blossom tree is the epitome of this conception of beauty. They explode in beauty after winter’s doldrums, trumpeting life for only a few days before they die. 

Beauty is a subjective rather than objective experience, a state of being ultimately internal rather than external. Based largely upon classical Greek ideals, beauty in the West is sought in the ultimate perfection of an external object: a sublime painting, perfect sculpture or intricate musical composition; a beauty that could be said to be only skin deep. The Japanese ideal sees beauty instead as an experience of the heart and soul, a feeling for and appreciation of objects or artwork—most commonly nature or the depiction of—in a pristine, untouched state.

The paintings in this exhibition combine the influences of the ancient artwork from Japan, an understanding of Zen Buddhist philosophy and a contemplation of the transient nature of life.

This body of work contains floral imagery such as the cherry blossom as well as bees and birds which again symbolise the transient life of the natural world. Materials used in these paintings incorporate a collection of vintage Japanese fabrics, wallpapers and metallic leaf and foil; combined onto the canvas with screen printed patterns, paint and encaustic wax. As when Japanese golden screens first appeared in the fourteenth century they functioned as a background on which to paste painted fans or square poem cards. Similarly, these paintings are a combination of both paper and material collage and painted areas.

Pattern is also an important element in this collection of paintings. I am contemplating both the pattern of the life cycle and seasons, pattern within sound, music and the written language, patterns in nature (honeycomb, petals of a blossom, waves etc) and the deeper, more geometric patterns that man has recognized in nature including the Fibonacci sequence, Mandelbrot set and Golden Mean.

Segments of the paintings appear as though they have aged over time. Tarnish, wear and decay also represent the transient nature of passing time. Areas of space represent that which has passed before or that which is yet to come into form. They suggest a magical, ‘alive’ dimension of true beauty beyond the 3D form that we, as humans so heavily identify with.

The paintings are material objects that depict an image which arose from the essence and which, at their highest function, will offer the viewer a window to their own eternal essence within.

A 'Pastiche' of Materials by Nerina Lascelles

Pastiche (noun) - An artistic work consisting of a medley of pieces taken from various sources

Many visitors to my studio inquire about the vast array of materials used in my paintings. As mentioned briefly in my last post, materials used in my paintings incorporate a collection of vintage Japanese fabrics, wallpapers and metallic leaf and foil; combined onto the canvas with screen printed patterns, paint and encaustic wax.





fragments included in these works have been hand selected from travels to Asian markets and antique bazaars. There is nothing quite like rummaging through a box of second hand material at a Japanese Shrine Sale. It is not uncommon for me to return to Australia with 'excess baggage'.... nothing to do with personal objects or souvenirs, instead, bags of materials that I simply couldn't leave behind!

What was considered absolute 'trash' to the previous owner evokes excitement and inspiration within me as I imagine this precious off-cut incorporated into a new painting. The definition of '


' definitely applies to this aspect of my art making. Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent and incomplete". Fragments of what was once a complete piece of fabric capture snippets of the world of their former glory. Another Japanese concept "


" hold a similar value. Kintsukuroi is the art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer. It is understood that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. The beautiful and rare treasures that I collect on my travels ignite a fascination of a time when life was perhaps more simple than in this modern day. These fabrics in themselves spark a sense of


. (a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe)

In memory of my Grandmother

On a more personal note, vintage wallpapers and other elements are also included to represent the influence of my dear grandmother. Even into her 100th year, grandmother saw beauty and the positive in absolutely everyone and everything she experienced. Her abundant garden appeared to respond as she would peer into the face of her beloved flowers and remark on their beauty.

As a child I would be swept away with the beauty of both Grandmother’s garden, and also her presence. I often wondered why grandmother didn’t appear to be overwhelmed by the stresses and struggles of this modern day. Perhaps it was because she did indeed come from a much simpler time (even before electricity) or maybe as the years passed she recognised the futility of being drawn into the anxiety and fear that is perpetuated through the minds of others. Instead Grandmother exhibited patience and grace. She appeared to hold a silent wisdom of what was important and what would bring balance and harmony. While being of this world, she preferred to sit and observe small plants grow and the seasons pass.

The wisdom I have gleaned from both my observation of my grandmother and a study of the ancient arts of Japan, is a reminder to hold a perception of the 'bigger picture' with me always. For me this is a meditation in opening and expanding my perception of life as a whole; to sense separate individuals as a 'one', and to know of the vibrational connection running through the entire universe.

Yūgen - An Exhibition of New Paintings by Nerina Lascelles

Yugen (幽玄): (Japanese noun) - an awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and mysterious to be described. Yūgen is said to mean “a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe…”

There is nothing you can see that is not a flower;

there is nothing you can think that is not the moon.

Matsuo Basho (1644 ~ 1694)

Yūgen is at the core of the appreciation of beauty and art in Japan and is an important concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics.

It values the power to evoke, rather than the ability to state directly. Yūgen is a Japanese word that has no English counterpart. It has been described as “strictly speaking an untranslatable word’. Further to this, it is essentially an indescribable word, at least in the context of other words. Yūgen suggests the beyond thatwhich can be said but is not an allusion to another world. It is about this world, this experience. It describes the profound grace and subtlety inherent in all things. These ideals, and others, underpin much of Japanese cultural and aesthetic norms on what is considered tasteful or beautiful. Thus, while seen as a philosophy in Western societies, the concept of aesthetics in Japan is seen as an integral part of daily life.

In Japanese waka poetry, the word Yūgen was used to describe the subtle profundity of things that are only vaguely suggested by the poems, and was also the name of a style of poetry. Japanese Haiku poetry also contains a strong element of Yūgen. The haiku offers a direct intuitive penetration into nature, and life, which offers insight, joy and truth to readers. A simple verse captures a multi-sensory experience of the profound beauty of life.

How reluctantly 

the bee emerges from the deep 

within the peony

Matsuo Basho (1644 ~ 1694)

Over the past decade, my work has been inspired by the sacred arts of a number of Asian countries and particularly the arts of Japan. Be it a scroll painting, a monk’s calligraphy koan or a beautifully woven kimono, these ancient objects capture the essence of timeless simplicity and beauty inherent in all things. Such a concept offers a welcomed reprieve from the stress, noise and hustle-bustle of this modern day.

The paintings in this exhibition combine the influences of: The ancient artwork from Japan, an understanding of Yūgen, the contemplation of traditional Japanese Haiku and a contemplation of the natural beauty of the natural environment. With a poetic reverence, monks and artists of ancient Japan painted beautiful depictions of their natural world, the seasons, flora and fauna.

It is with the same sensitivity and with the influence of the Japanese aesthetic that I have chosen to depict the Yūgen in the flight of a bird, flowering blossom or the perfection of pattern of the honeycomb in a bee hive.

Bee Collage 

Areas of empty space rest beside the magnification of leaves and flowers, allowing the viewer to experience both a focus the shapes and also the space to contemplate the details of these forms. The voids of space within these works suggest a magical, ‘alive’ dimension beyond the material. ‘Form’ and the ‘formless’combine to create a sense of harmonious balance.

Materials used in these paintings incorporate a collection of vintage Japanese fabrics, wallpapers and metallic leaf and foil; combined onto the canvas with screen printed patterns, paint and encaustic wax.

Precious Obi and kimono fragments included in these works have been hand selected from travels to Japan and antique bazaars. These beautiful and rare treasures ignite a fascination of a time when life was perhaps more simple than in this modern day. These fabrics in themselves spark a sense of Yūgen. The haiku poems chosen also evoke a quiet contemplation of the simplicity yet incredible beauty of life on earth.

Bee Collage 3

The paintings are material objects that depict an image which arose from the essence and which, at their highest function, will offer the viewer a window to their own invisible essence of Yūgen within.

From the Studio by Nerina Lascelles

Bee Collage 1 (detail)

Over recent months, my paintings have been inspired by the humble honey bee :)  The importance of the bee has featured highly in the media of recent. As Einstein said, "If the Bee Disappeared Off the Face of the Earth, Man Would Only Have Four Years Left To Live".

In addition to this, my beautiful brother James, who has been living and keeping bees in the UK, has recently returned home to Australia. He is quite the bee expert and is kindly teaching me beekeeping as we tend to the new hive in Panton Hill.

The Bee Hive - Complete with Gold Leaf!

While the bush honey this region is quite delicious, I'm much more excited about the bee's wax! A melted concoction of bee's wax and damar varnish makes Encaustic Wax which is a surface that I have applied to almost every work I've painted over the last 15 years. :)

In celebration of the first wax extracted from the hive, I have used it on the paintings below.

Bee Collage 1 (76cm x 60cm)

Bee Collage 3 (76cm x 76cm)

These collages contain photographs of some local Bee's collecting nectar from flowering plum blossom.

They're printed with Pigmented Ink on Archival Paper and are combined with other collage materials including washi paper, gold leaf, foil, acrylic and silk screen on canvas.

Screen printing is a relatively new addition in my work. Each of these Bee Collages also contain areas of silk screened pattern. The hexagonal lattice pattern called 'Kikko' was used with great frequency after the beginning of the Heian Period in Japan. While the original design replicated the pattern of a tortise shell, I have used it here to mimic the hexagonal pattern of honeycomb.

Silk-screened Bees have also been printed onto the paintings.

Bee Collage 2 (76cm x 60cm)

Bee Collage 5 

JAPONISM - Part 2 by Nerina Lascelles

Japonism on You Tube

A big thank you to Kerry Cross also, for his assistance in editing a short YouTube video about 'JAPONISM'. If you haven't been in to see the exhibition as yet, here's an interview in my art studio interspersed with images of the paintings on display at Montsalvat.

My the year has certainly flown! It's really hard to believe that Spring is just around the corner.... and also that 'JAPONISM' is exhibiting at Montsalvat for just another week or so!

If you haven't been down as yet, here's a little reminder that the last opportunity will be Sunday 24th August. The gallery is open daily from 9am until 5pm.

Manuka - (detail)

Exhibition Opening

I'd dearly love to thank all of you for your wonderful response, support, and feed back regarding 'JAPONISM' which has been showing since June 19.

The opening evening was simply delightful and despite the chill of a mid winter night, so many made it to the opening to help celebrate this new body of paintings. A heartfelt thank you to Jeannette Davison, the Arts Manager at Montsalvat, and Amanda Gibson, Manager of the 'Tree Project' for your incredible opening speeches.

Montsalvat Exterior on Opening Night

photo - Kerry Cross

Meet the Artist

I'll be down at Montsalvat on Saturday 24th August between 1-3pm for the final session in the 'Meet the Artist' series accompanying JAPONISM.  Love to see you there!

Photo - Kerry Cross

"The paintings are material objects that depict an image which arose from the essence and which, at their highest function, will offer the viewer a window to their own invisible essence within."

JAPONISM by Nerina Lascelles


is delighted to present an exhibition of new work by the 2011 Nillumbik Prize People’s Choice Award winner Nerina Lascelles.

Long Gallery 19 June – 25 August

‘Japonism’ is the term used to describe the influence of the Arts of Japan on artists of the West. Ever since the very first contact in the sixteenth century, Japan has always possessed an irresistable fascination for the Western culture. The allure was only increased when Japanese ports reopened to trade with the West in 1853 and a tidal wave of foreign imports flooded European shores.

Japanese woodcut prints by masters of the ukiyo-e school which transformed Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art by demonstrating that simple, transitory, everyday subjects could be presented in appealingly decorative ways.

Narrow-Leafed Peppermint

152cm x 122cm 


Over the past decade, I have been inspired by the sacred arts of a number of Asian countries, in particular, the arts of Japan. Be it a scroll painting, a monk’s calligraphy koan or a beautifully woven kimono, these ancient objects capture an essence of timeless simplicity and beauty that is inherent in all things. Such a concept offers a welcome reprieve from the stress, noise and hustle/bustle of this modern day.

The paintings in this exhibition combine the influences of the ancient artwork from Japan, an understanding of Zen Buddhist philosophy and a contemplation of the natural beauty of the Australian bush.

The monks and artists of ancient Japan painted beautiful, reverential depictions of their natural world: the seasons, the flora and the fauna.

Japanese art consisted of off-centred arrangements with no perspective, light with no shadows, and vibrant colours with both plain and patterned surfaces. Other Japanese design elements included elongated pictorial formats, aerial perspective, spaces emptied of form, and a focus on singularly decorative motifs.

It is with the same sensitivity and with the influence of the Japanese aesthetic that I have chosen to depict a series of more local natural objects including branches of gum leaves, a flowering blossom or a flowing stream.


76cm x 152cm


In this body of work my intention is to offer a fresh insight on everyday elements by taking them out of a familiar setting and placing them into a new environment. Having lived in this indigenous landscape of Nillumbik for most of my life, it is easy to overlook the subtlety and fragility of delicate blooms which are surrounded by hardy bush. Within these canvasses, Australian flora has been offered a sense of space which it may not have had in its natural environment. Areas of empty space rest beside the magnification of leaves and flowers, allowing the viewer to experience both a focus on the shapes and also the space to contemplate the details of these forms.

The voids of space within these works suggest a magical, ‘alive’ dimension beyond the material.

‘Form’ and the ‘formless’ combine to create a sense of harmonious balance.

Red Box Moon

156cm x 122cm


"The paintings are material objects that depict an image which arose from the essence and which, at their highest function, will offer the viewer a window to their own invisible essence within."

Cinnamon Wattle

122cm x 122cm


Journey Through Artistic Inspiration - 1995 to 2013 by Nerina Lascelles

2011 – Current

From 2010 – 2012, Nerina lived and worked as an artist in residence at ‘


’, an artist’s community located in bushland surrounding Melbourne.

Her major show in 2011 was ‘Seizui’ at


in Eltham. Each of the 14 works in this exhibition were been inspired after the reading and contemplation of a series of Haiku poems by the Japanese masters. For each poem chosen, the intention was to extract the ‘essence’ and bring the inherent imagery to life through a visual interpretation.

Clouds Veil the Moon 

Now and again 

Giving rest to its beholders - BASHO 

Japanese masters such as Basho, Issa, Shikki and Buson, with poems dating back to the 10th century, have written countless haiku poems portraying their experience of nature and life in Japan. And similarly, monks and artists of ancient Japan painted with a poetic reverence beautiful depictions of their natural world; the seasons, flora and fauna.

Long-Leaf Box Collage 2011

(Winner People's Choice - Nillumbik Prize)

“After having been living at Dunmoochin for over a year now, one simply cannot help being influenced by the beauty and magic of the Australian bush which encouraged my to translate some of these Japanese haiku using imagery which is more local to this region; including red box and long leaf box eucalyptus.”

2009 - 2010

In 2010 Nerina had three major solo exhibitions, "Sonzai - Existence", "Shinzui - Essence" and "MIST" in Singapore.

Sonzai - Existence was a solo exhibition at

East and West Art Gallery

, explored Eastern Philosophy where 'impermenance' describes existence, a vast space or stillness from which all forms arise and in time dissolve.

Karisome – Transience 

122cm x 122cm 2010

Shinzui - Essence was an exhibition comprising of over 35 paintings and prints at

Yering Station

. 'Shinzui' (Japanese for ‘Essence’) speaks of a space or stillness which existed before or beyond the realm of matter. It contains an understanding of Zen Buddhism and suggests a magical, ‘alive’ dimension beyond the 3D form that we, as humans so heavily identify with. The word ‘Essence’ has been used to describe the aspect of ourselves which is connected to all life or our true nature.

"Over the past decade, my work has been inspired by the sacred arts of a number of Asian cultures. Be it a painting on a shrine wall, a monk’s calligraphy koan or a beautifully woven kimono, these ancient objects of beauty seem to ‘point to’ the essence of all life. Over time, dust, dirt and decay appear to conceal the treasure beneath - but the essence that inspired the creation originally can never be marred or destroyed with time.

Similarly, the understanding of our true essence and connection to ‘the whole’ is sensed deep within ourselves - beneath the layers of mind, emotions and form. This essence is also a beautiful treasure which is always present, just beneath the surface. The paintings are material objects that depict an image which arose from the essence and which, at their highest function, will offer the viewer a window to their own invisible essence within."

Honshitsu - True Nature, Mixed Media on Canvas, 122cm x 122cm, 2010

"MIST", a solo exhibition in the

Australian High Commission

in Singapore in 2010 was been inspired by a fifteen year study of Asian cultures which may offer both Eastern and Western Cultures a glimpse of a different and perhaps more balanced way of being. Singapore has been viewed as a meeting place and a 'melting pot' between East and West and for this reason the art works reflect the positive and unifying aspects of our world cultures.

Hashi - Bridge, 100cm x 75cm, 2009

Works of this period depicted a variety of landscapes in which the elements of both ‘form or matter’ and ‘space, void, or stillness’ coexist. The landscapes in this exhibition are not completely identified with physical form, but not entirely of spirit either. They represent a middle ground between form and the formless.

Figures and objects in the paintings are easily defined by the mind but perhaps not as easily comprehended, yet equally as important are the areas of space, which suggest a magical, mythical dimension beyond form. Some paintings suggest the spaciousness of the night sky while others describe distant, dreamlike landscapes which also represent the illusive nature of the invisible… the realm beyond space, time and form where true divinity dwells. Where all is one.

Doragon ken Fenikkusu - Dragon and Phoenix, 120 x 150cm, 2009

Nerina combines a blend of Buddhist images and traditional Japanese painting techniques with her own unique style - with the intention of imparting a sense of the ‘sacred’ to her audience. The occasional inclusion of a Buddha or Boddhisatva represents aspects of our true nature who’s presence may act as a trigger or ‘signpost’ into a deeper place of stillness.

2005 - 2008

During this period, Nerina has been influenced particularly by early Japanese art and Shinto and Buddhist teachings in Japan. Paintings during this time depicted revered creatures such as the crane, the koi and the peacock, plants such as the Cherry blossom as well as a number of Shinto deities.

Dharani - Esoteric Buddhist Prayer, 2005

Nerina's primary exhibition of 2006, the Nature of Things was influenced by the art and Zen poetry of Japan. Each of the 14 works was initiated from the reading and contemplation of a Haiku – an evocative Japanese verse which embodies a direct intuitive penetration into nature and life, which offers insight, joy and truth to readers. A simple verse encapsulates a multi-sensory experience of one’s environment. Haiku poetry uses language to allude to experience. In the case of Zen Haiku, language becomes a painting, a drawing, a story, a song.

"Suddenly the sun rose

to the scent of plum blossom

along the mountain path" 2006

For each poem chosen, Nerina has endeavoured to extract the essence and bring the inherent imagery to life through a visual interpretation. Through the combination of both Haiku and painting, traditionally termed ‘Haiga’ the aim is to invite the viewer to perhaps experience a similar ‘timeless moment’ or to experience a ‘deeper presence of life’

"Mysterious loveliness

Buddhist statues covered

in fallen leaves" 2006

The title of Nerina's major exhibition of 2007 was, KENSHO, & literally translates as 'Seeing the Nature.' In the Zen perspective, the Kensho experience is a moment of complete emptiness, simplicity & formlessness during which one sees one’s ‘true nature’ or ‘Buddha nature’. Put in another way, one knows with one’s whole being, that one was not, is not, and will not ever be separate from the whole of the Universe. It is a recognition of the conscious eternal presence beyond the dimension of form and mind which is our true identity. Kensho is not a permanent state of enlightenment but rather a clear glimpse of the true nature of creation.

Kensho, 2007

Materials used include a collage of origami papers, Japanese kimono fabric, gold & silver leaf, paint and encaustic wax. Japanese influences in style range across several periods in history including 13th and 14th century paintings of Buddhist and Shinto deities, scroll paintings by Zen monks, and the natural landscapes painted on the 'byobu' - folding screens

Keshiki Byobu - Landscape painted Folding Screen 2007

2000 -2005 

After travelling through Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Tibet, Nerina’s work was greatly inspired by the art and culture of Buddhism and Hinduism. A series of exhibitions contained paintings of mandalas and meditative “thangkas”. Paintings from this period perhaps contained images of sacred deities and written Sanskrit or Tibetan mantras.

Peace Mandala 2001 

One such exhibition of note was “Sadhana” in 2001–which contained over 20 Buddhist inspired paintings. A Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Venerable Kunchok Rinzin created a 2 metre high butter sculpture which stood in the centre of the gallery space. Two Tibetan monks opened the exhibition with a Tibetan blessing and meditation, offering the public an amazing cultural experience.

Mumukshutva - Desire for Liberation 2001 

Travel to Indonesia has also inspired Nerina’s paintings. The beauty and diversity of Asian and Indonesian textiles and fabric paintings have also greatly inspired her work. In some cases paintings contained prints from traditional wood blocks of even a collage of fabrics she had collected from the countries themselves.

Avalokitesvara 2001 

Since 2002, Nerina has travelled to Bali 3 or 4 times each year and has as a result established a deep connection with the Balinese culture, mythology and people. In 2003 Nerina invited a Balinese artist, I Gusti Mirdiana, to Australia with the intention of each exhibiting 10 paintings of a traditional Balinese myth. The 20 finished works, 10 interpretations from Bali and 10 from the WestNerina Lascelles formed another exhibition of great cultural interest to the Melbourne community. Anthropologist and author Dr. Michele Stephen translated the stories through writing but also held a series of public lectures where the myths and artistic interpretations of both artists were explained.

Siwa and Uma 2003

1995 – 2000

Much of the inspiration for her previous works has derived from world-wide travel and an interest in the spirituality and wisdom of a number of indigenous cultures. Influence for early exhibitions include studies of the art and myth of the Australian Aborigines, African and South American cultures and other peoples who are in close connection with the earth.

Bungil - A Dance 1995

Nerina feels that such cultures were able to access certain understandings and wisdom, which our society today could also benefit from. Paintings from this period contained symbolism, sacred geometry and the palette of colour from such cultures; with the objective of imparting a sense of the harmony, balance and co-operation that runs through everything.

Ndoro - Zimbabwe 1998 

Nillumbik Open Studio's by Nerina Lascelles

It's that time of year again where over 35 artist's from the local area open their doors to extend a warm invitation to visit their studios. This season I held my Open Studio viewing at a new location in Panton Hill - on the rural outskirts of Melbourne.

In June of 2012, I completed my two year artist's residency at


. While I am still closely connected to Dunmoochin and its community, I am so grateful to be currently painting in '

Frank Werther's'

studio.... while I'm in the process of building a new studio.

Frank Werther was a prolific artist who was one of the first artists who built and settled at Dunmoochin alongside Clifton Pugh. According to his


"He was an extraordinary man, creative, inspiring and individual in an unapologetic but humble way".

I never did have the pleasure of meeting Frank before he passed away in 2010, but from all accounts though, he was such a beautiful man. This incredible space hadn't been touched since the day he went into a nursing home a few year ago. Like moving into the work spaces of Clifton Pugh and other Dunmoochin artist's - one can hear the stories & feel the inspiration and creation that went before.

November's Open Studio program was quite special. Until the completion of my new studio, my lovely parents kindly offered that I exhibit my work in their beautiful home in Panton Hill. On display was my most recent paintings, prints, cards and books, but this beautiful home is a work of art in itself.  The house has been featured in the 'Owner Builder' and 'Renew' magazines, been screened on 'Better Homes and Gardens' and won a Sustainability Award for its green design. (Incredible work dad!)

Jeannette Davison has also featured the house on her blog


, so if you're interested in seeing more, please visit the article



Photo - Jeannette Davison

photo - Jeannette Davison

page from the Open Studio's booklet

(click here for a downloadable copy)

Visitor 25th November 2012

Buddha is

Cherry Blossoms

In the Moonlight


Both of the weekends were incredibly busy with up to 100 people visiting daily. In fact, tallying up all around... this was the most successful Open Studio to date! :)

NOW SHOWING..... by Nerina Lascelles

N E R I N A  L A S C E L L E S
New exhibition of paintings at

B R O W N K O R T E ' S

Mist on the Diamond Creek, 122cm x 122cm, 2012

Goodness, it's really hard to believe that it's the second half of 2012 already I thought it high time that I connected to share the updates on all things 'Art' in my little world!

Firstly, I've recently hung a new body of 11 paintings in an exhibition at "BrownKorte's" in Kangaroo Ground.
The whole BrownKorte's experience really compliments the Oriental theme in my paintings. With spectacular views and an award winning menu, which is also infused with an Asian flavour, it's a great pleasure to hang my work in this beautiful building.
My personal favourite on their current Winter Menu is: "Hiramasa yellowfin kingfish sushimi, soy, mirin and sesame dressing, bonito flake popcorn" To die for!!!

The exhibition is now showing and will be on display throughout the next month so please feel more than free to visit for a coffee, glass or wine or beautiful meal off the BrownKorte's menu.
The paintings are also available for purchase ... and well who knows..... one might just make for a perfect father's day gift! : )

Migration Flight, Mixed Media on Canvas, 152cm x 152cm, 2012 

Vintage Peony Rose, 92cm x 153cm, 2012

by Nerina Lascelles

Old Studio - New Studio

It is with a degree of sadness that I farewell the most incredible chapter of both living and painting art Dunmoochin over the last two years.  The Artist’s Residency Program which was set up in the 1990’s offers an incredible opportunity for local, Australian and International artists to experience living in close proximity with other artists and the beauty of the Australian bush.

I would seem that each and every artist who spends time at Dunmoochin is reluctant to leave (myself included!!) but it’s fabulous to know that other artists will come to be inspired, stimulated and supported in the future.  I am so gratetul for all of the connections that I’ve made during my time at Dunmoochin. A heartfelt thank you to each and every one I have had the fortune to meet.

At this point I’d also like to thank all of you who came to visit during the Artist’s Open Studios in May. It’s always such a pleasure to invite you into my studio… and this time in particular – being my final open day at Dunmoochin.

Open Studios - May 2012    Photo thanks to Cindy Plowman

At the finalisation of my residency, I have had the absolute honour of being invited to become a member of the Dunmoochin Foundation. I’m so grateful that I may be able to offer future artists an ounce of the support and opportunity that I have had during my residency. An honour indeed. :)

And in with the New....

Moving house and studio can be quite an upheaval, so I chose to take myself away on a refreshing holiday once the last box was packed. A trip to Europe through the galleries, theaters, culture and countryside of England, Portugal, Spain and France has reinspired and reignited all creativity.

New Studio

Upon returning to Melbourne, I have moved into ‘Frank Werther’s’ studio which is also located in the bush at Dunmoochin. Frank was an extremely well respected man and an incredibly proific artist. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to paint up a storm in the very studio where so much creativity has poured forth in the past!

Winter morning at Dunmoochin